Recently a secret recording was made of a Republican lobbyist, named Richard Berman, addressing a meeting of energy-industry executives. What the lobbyist revealed is at the core of the right-wing strategy for getting Americans to vote against their own interests. “We exploit their basest emotions. We prey on their fear, greed and anger. The truth never matters. Because if we hit them in their gut, they don’t care what the truth is.” With these “inspiring” words Berman elicited millions in donations for Republican political candidates from a quasi-fascist group called Western Energy Alliance, whose members include Halliburton, Devon Energy, and Anadarko Petroleum. And because the Supreme Court has removed limits on corporate spending, right-wing billionaire groups like Western Energy can literally buy elections with their money. That’s the right-wing playbook. That’s how it works. That’s America in 2014. The richest, greediest, most conservative people in the country can hire paid liars to do their bidding to get what they want.
Climate change is real, but liars like Louis Gohmert can convince voters it’s not by pointing out that it’s a black man who has the audacity to tell us it’s real. Obamacare is working, but Mitch McConnell can exploit racist Kentuckians to believe otherwise. Scott Walker can convince working class Wisconsinites that their taxes will go up if they don’t elect him; in reality, it is only the super-rich whose taxes will rise. The rise of lower and middle class families makes America better, but when white bigots see blacks and Latinos getting opportunities, they become jealous, angry and fearful. Limbaugh and FOX News exploit this fear with dire warnings of brown people swarming into America spreading disease, going on welfare, and voting for minority candidates. The colored hordes are coming, is the message.
To fend off these lies, one must be educated and well-read. Sadly, most of white, rural America is woefully unlearned. They can’t afford higher education, and they have limited access to the truth. They will believe the most bellicose, incendiary, and hateful voices they hear. That’s how Republicans want them—stupid, poor, and pissed-off. The way they will always be under Republican rule.